Ferrari Jumps After Soros Emerges Among Top 10 Shareholders

  • Soros's holding sends `positive signal' after share drop
  • Supercar maker rises to highest since Feb. 8 in Milan

Ferrari NV got a much needed lift after George Soros, one of the world’s most prominent investors, disclosed that his fund bought a stake in the newly independent supercar maker.

At the end of last year, Soros Fund Management LLC owned 850,000 Ferrari shares, equivalent to 0.45 percent of the maker of cars like the $330,000 F12berlinetta, according to a U.S. filing late Tuesday. The holding makes George Soros’s fund one of top investors in Ferrari, which has fallen about 30 percent since its initial public offering in October.

“Soros’s disclosure of an holding in Ferrari is clearly sending a positive signal to the investment community,” said Vincenzo Longo, strategist at IG Group in Milan.

The stake, worth around 28 million euros ($31.2 million), is a sign of support for Ferrari, which is controlled by the Agnelli family and Piero Ferrari, the son of founder Enzo. The carmaker has battled analyst skepticism about its prospects as a stand-alone company following the full spinoff from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NVat the beginning of 2016. After deliveries dropped 22 percent in China last year, Ferrari said growth will probably slow this year.

In Milan trading, Ferrari rose 7.9 percent to 33.68 euros, the highest intraday price since Feb. 8. The shares have traded at the Italian exchange since January, when Fiat Chrysler completed the spinoff by distributing its remaining 80 percent stake to its shareholders.

The Agnelli family owns 23.5 percent of Ferrari via their Exor SpA holding company. The Italian industrial clan have a shareholding pact with Piero Ferrari, who holds 10 percent. Together, they control almost 50 percent of the company’s voting rights. Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, also chairman of Ferrari, is the company’s sixth-biggest investor with 1.46 million shares.

Soros’s fund has the ninth largest position in Ferrari, while mutual fund manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc. holds a 4 percent stake, making it the third-largest investor, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Also among the top 10 positions is a short holding by FIL Fund Management Ltd. equivalent to 0.5 percent of the company’s stock.

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